Hi there Motor City! You remember arguing with me on Greg Monroe not being an elite Big Man? I told Detroit fans that the Pistons needed to get Josh Smith, trade for Boston PG Rajon Rondo and bring back G Chauncey Billups. Well after being told it can’t happen over and over, I’d say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. And on the 3rd point of an offseason over haul, Detroit fell short of getting Rondo and instead went with the old bad boy blueprint in acquiring Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks. Now Jennings isn’t established like Rondo but he certainly has talent and leaves you wondering with the right mentor and pieces to help him, what could he be?
So here it is, 5 reasons Pistons Basketball will captivate Detroit once again.
This team is going to own the boards. We are talking about a front court that will potentially add 20 to 22 defensive rebounds a game just from Drummond, Monroe, and Smith. This also means the loss of second chance points for opponents and add in the fact Detroit will now possess Josh Smith and his shot blocking ability. Too much was made of Smith’s love of the 3 pointer and not enough was made of Smith’s overall impact. Now pairing him with a young rising front court and this is a good step to go beyond a the 1st round in the playoffs. Meanwhile Drummond in his short time last year already proved to be one of (if not the best) young defensive big man in basketball. Remember, he is 20 years old. Overall this team should come together with good help side defense, contested shots, and big defensive boards.
The Pistons are going to roll one of the biggest teams in the league but don’t be fooled this isn’t going to be a bunch of big clumsy fellas out there either. Drummond and Smith aren’t just big, they are athletes that will run the floor which should result in some lob cityequse finishes above the rim. Greg Monroe will feature a steady game and be in a position that suits him better with the addition of Jennings and Smith. Essentially Monroe doesn’t have to be the #1 and #2 option on every offensive play. This is a recipe for more wins and allows Monroe to be more effective. Furthermore I fully expect Moose’s totals to go up as his increase in 2nd chance points and getting more open looks with Jennings and Smith beside him. Another added feature to watch for Pistons fans is the ability for the big men down low to pass. Josh Smith and Greg Monroe are both excellent passers and now have some guys they can kick it out too and knock down jumpers with Jennings, Chauncey Billups, and Kyle Singler.
Lob City/ Motor City
I’m not saying they will do it better than the show the Clippers put on, but Detroit should throw down some big dunks and alley oops that get The Palace and fans fired up. Drummond and Smith will be the high flyers and with Bynum breaking down a defense, Jennings throwing it up, and Chauncey familiar with an alley oop the Motor City could very well become Lob City East. Also watch out for Tony Mitchell getting more playing time because this young guy can get up too.
Mainly Chauncey Billups, he’s been there, down that and all the young guys respect him. The 37 year old Billups may seem long in the tooth and be up there in Basketball years but what he’s lost in step he has gained in smarts. He might be the smartest basketball player in the game in terms of basketball IQ and is definitely a head coach in waiting. The No. 1 reason he came back was not only because he felt like he was coming home, he felt like he had a chance to win and fix his team. The effect Billups will have on malcontent Rodney Stuckey, the maturation of Brandon Jennings and showing the young guys how to win.
This isn’t going to be a team that needs to take it easy late in the season, in fact this should be a team playing their best ball in April going into the playoffs. Detroit will feature a young team, with only Bynum and Billups the only guys in the rotation over 30. Behind them is Josh Smith and Stuckey at 27 but after that the roster is loaded with 20-25 year old players.
This is a reclamation project season and the year Joe D’s Pistons reclaim their spot in the Detroit Sports order. For too long basketball at the Palace has been forgotten when it has the potential to be one of the toughest places for opposing teams to play, if the Pistons win of course.
My prediction, I see the East being wide open after the first 4 spots. If Detroit gels early they could claim the fifth seed.
Detroit should expect 46-47 wins with the current roster and run into Indiana in the first round as a battle of the fourth and fifth seeds.